BBQ Pulled Pork Sandwiches with Apple Slaw & Baked Beans

For Christmas my brother-in-law gifted me an amazing cookbook called "Date Night". It's filled with three to four course meals you and your partner can prepare and enjoy together. I was so excited to receive this, and didn't take long to start planning out J's and my future at-home date night meals. 

I love how the book is divided into recipes for each season. Of course, I flipped to the winter section so that we can take advantage of the fresh ingredients in stores right now. 

The first meal we tried was BBQ Pulled Pork Sandwiches with Apple Slaw complete with a side of baked beans. We also made the BBQ ourselves! Go us.

If you've been reading my blog for any length of time, you know that pasta and rice are our two staple ingredients in most of the recipes we make. Sometimes we make burgers or sandwiches, but not too often. That's why we were both eager to try these. 

Scroll down for the recipes of each component of the meal. 

Pulled Pork Sandwiches



  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/4 tsp of cayenne pepper
  • 2 Tbsps of hot smoked paprika (We used regular paprika.)
  • 1 Tbsp of salt
  • 1 Tbsp of dark brown sugar or muscovado (We used light brown sugar because that's what I had in the pantry.)
  • 2 tsps of ground cumin
  • 3 Tbsps of yellow mustard
  • 1 3lb bone-in pork shoulder roast, or a 2 1/2 lb boneless pork shoulder (We used the boneless pork shoulder.)
  • 1 cup of water or chicken stick
  • 1 recipe of Tangy BBQ Sauce (scroll down for recipe)
  • Burger buns


1. In a small bowl, combine garlic, cayenne, paprika, salt, brown sugar, cumin and yellow mustard. Stir well to combine. Rub over the pork and let it sit for at least 1 hour or overnight in the fridge.

2. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Place the pork shoulder in a large Dutch oven or roasting pan with water / stock. Cover tightly with foil. Roast covered for 4 to 5 hours, or until the meat falls apart when prodding with a fork.

I pulled mine out after about 3 1/2 hours and the pork was ready to go.  

3. Remove from the oven and let rest for about 10 minutes. Then, add 3/4 cups of the tangy barbecue sauce to the roasting pan/ Dutch oven and coat the pork.  

4. Use forks to pull apart. Taste and add more sauce if needed. 


Tangy BBQ Sauce



  • 2 Tbsps of yellow mustard
  • 1/2 cup of apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup of ketchup
  • 1/4 tsp of cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp of salt
  • 1/2 tsp of pepper
  • 1/2 cup of muscovado sugar or dark brown sugar (Again, we used light brown sugar.)
  • 3 minced garlic cloves
  • Few drops of natural hickory liquid smoke (optional)


1. In a medium saucepan over medium-low heat, whisk together all ingredients. 

2. Bring to a simmer and cook on medium-low heat for 10 minutes to reduce slightly. 

*This sauce can be made a head of time and stored in the fridge for up to 1 week.*

Apple Slaw



  • 2 Tbsps of sour cream 
  • 1 Tbsp of mayonnaise 
  • 1 tsp of apple cider vinegar 
  • 1/2 Tbsp of freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/8 tsp of salt
  • 1/2 Granny Smith apple or another brand of tart apple, cut into matchsticks
  • 1 cup of thinly sliced radicchio (I looked high and low for radicchio at the store, but couldn't find it. I opted for red lettuce instead, and it still came out very tasty.)
  • 1 cup of chopped cilantro
  • 1 scallion, thinly sliced


1. In a large bowl, whisk together sour cream, mayonnaise, vinegar, lemon juice, and salt. 

2. Add the apple, radicchio (or lettuce), cilantro, and scallion and toss to combine. 

Baked Beans


  • 5 strips of bacon, roughly chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, sliced
  • 1/2 cup of shallots
  • 1/4 cup of maple syrup
  • 1 Tbsp of brown sugar
  • 1 tsp of salt
  • 1/4 tsp of pepper
  • 2 Tbsps of yellow mustard
  • 1/4 cup of ketchup
  • 2 Tbsps of apples cider vinegar
  • 2 cans of navy or kidney beans, drained and rinsed


1. In a medium saucepan, sauté the bacon over medium heat until golden, about 10 minutes. 

2. Reduce the heat to medium low and add the garlic and shallots and sauté until just starting to brown, another 8 minutes or so. 

3. Stir in the maple syrup, brown sugar, salt, pepper, mustard, ketchup, cider vinegar, and beans. Bring to a simmer and then reduce the heat to medium low. Cover and cook for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally. 

This date night meal definitely took some time, so make sure you have a few hours to spare. Of course, you're spending it on a "date" with your loved one, so you should have no problem spending all that time together!